In-depth, hard-hitting interviews with newsworthy personalities.


United Kingdom




In-depth, hard-hitting interviews with newsworthy personalities.




Alexey Navalny: The interview

Russian authorities have announced the death of one of the country’s most significant opposition leaders Alexey Navalny in a remote penal colony in the Arctic Circle. Stephen Sackur spoke to him in Moscow in 2017 about the risks involved in being a prominent critic of President Putin. (Photo: Alexey Navalny. Still from his 2017 interview with Stephen Sackur)


Bassem Youssef: Can laughter ever provoke political change?

Stephen Sackur is in New York for a special edition of the programme with Egyptian American satirist Bassem Youssef. During the Arab Spring, his mockery of Egypt’s leaders won him millions of fans, but after the military took over he fled to the US where he has reinvented his comedy career. Can laughter ever provoke political change? (Photo: Bassem Youssef, comedian and political satirist)


Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya: Does Ukraine feel betrayed?

Stephen Sackur is in New York City for an exclusive interview with Ukraine’s top diplomat at the United Nations, Sergiy Kyslytsya. With partisan warfare in Washington DC blocking crucial military assistance to Kyiv, does Ukraine feel betrayed? (Photo: Still taken from the Hardtalk interview with Sergiy Kyslytsya)


Cornel West: Could enough votes taken from Joe Biden help Donald Trump get elected?

Stephen Sackur is in New York City to speak to Cornel West, the high-profile philosopher, writer and activist who has launched his own bid for the White House. Running as independent, he looks unlikely to win but could this anti-war socialist take enough votes from Joe Biden to help Donald Trump get elected a second time?


Vassily Nebenzia: Is Russia influencing global opinions?

Stephen Sackur is in New York City, home of the United Nations, to speak to Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN. Ambassador Nebenzia is a key player in Vladimir Putin’s combative diplomatic strategy to accuse the West of seeking to impose its will on the world, from Ukraine to the Middle East. How effective is Moscow in the battle for world opinion?


José Ramos-Horta: Peace and reconciliation

Stephen Sackur speaks to José Ramos Horta, President of Timor-Leste. Are there lessons for the world to learn from his extraordinary life?


Abdalla Hamdok: Can Sudan find peace?

Zeinab Badawi speaks to the former prime minister of Sudan, Abdalla Hamdok. He is at the heart of negotiations to bring peace to the country after ten months of conflict, in which thousands have died and millions have been displaced. Can his efforts succeed?


Ronald Lamola: Is South Africa's genocide case against Israel a geo-political game changer?

Stephen Sackur speaks to South African justice minister Ronald Lamola, a key player in the country’s genocide case against Israel presented to the International Court of Justice. The court’s preliminary ruling has made little immediate difference to the war in Gaza, but longer term could it be a geo-political game changer?


Jasvinder Sanghera: Abuse and the Church of England

Stephen Sackur speaks to Jasvinder Sanghera, who as a child escaped a forced marriage and has been a lifelong advocate for survivors of abuse. She was hired by the Church of England to help them confront abuse allegations. But she and they are now at odds. What went wrong?


Radek Sikorski: Will Poland's new government unite or divide the country?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski. Poland has been a key pillar of the Western alliance supporting Ukraine against Putin’s invasion, but is war fatigue undermining that bond? And is Poland's new government going to unite the country or divide it?


Naomi Alderman: Apocalypse soon?

Stephen Sackur speaks to the writer and computer game creator Naomi Alderman. Her latest novel - The Future - is a techno thriller set at the end of days. Is the apocalypse she imagines all too possible?


Regina Ip: What is Hong Kong's future?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Regina Ip, an influential pro-Beijing lawmaker in Hong Kong. For years China has been tightening its grip on the territory it took back from Britain. Pro-democracy activism, political opposition and press freedom have all been curtailed. So what is Hong Kong’s future?


Mark Regev: Is Israel serving its own best interests?

Stephen Sackur talks to Mark Regev, spokesman for Israel’s prime minister. Israel’s relentless military response to Hamas’s assault on 7 October has unleashed a humanitarian nightmare in Gaza. Is Israel’s strategy serving its own best interests?


Mohammad Marandi: Is Middle East conflict what Iran really wants?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Mohammad Marandi, an Iranian academic who has advised his government during nuclear negotiations. Iran actively backs Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen, but as the flashpoints in the Middle East multiply, is a regional war - with the US inevitably engaged - what Tehran really wants?


Sir Nicholas Winton: A Holocaust hero

Another chance to listen to Stephen Sackur's 2014 interview with the late Sir Nicholas Winton, the man who saved more than 600 mostly Jewish children from Nazi persecution. Nine years after his death, a major film has been released about his remarkable story. What motivated him? Image: Sir Nicholas Winton, pictured in 2015 (Credit: Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard via Getty Images)


Alicia Kearns: How much will 2024 test the West?

Stephen Sackur talks to Alicia Kearns, Conservative MP and chair of the UK’s House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee. She has long warned of the threat to democracies posed by authoritarian regimes, led by China. With a host of elections looming, is 2024 going to severely test the West?


Stephen Cave: Should we want to live forever?

Stephen Sackur speaks to philosopher Stephen Cave, director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Technology and Humanity. He is at the centre of a growing debate about the merits of extending human longevity. Is it wise to seek to live forever?


Aida Touma-Sliman: What does war mean for Israel's Arab population?

What does the Gaza war mean for Israel’s Arab population? Stephen Sackur speaks to Israeli politician Aida Touma-Sliman, a Palestinian Arab member of Israel's parliament.


Past notes

A special programme remembering past HARDtalk guests who died in 2023. All of them left an indelible mark on public life and all, in their different ways, relished the opportunity we gave them to discuss their decision-making and motivation.


2023 in review

Stephen Sackur looks back at some of HARDtalk’s most impactful and thought-provoking interviews of 2023.